- Area: 10,908 km2
- Population: 1,907,592
- Infant mortality: between 35 to 49 per 1,000 live births
- Life expectancy: 71 years
- Urbanisation: approximately 36%
- Literacy: 91.9%
The central Balkans were part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires before ethnic Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th century. During the medieval period, Kosovo became the center of a Serbian Empire and saw the construction of many important Serb religious sites, including many architecturally significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries. The defeat of Serbian forces at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to Kosovo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over the region from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. After World War II, Kosovo's present-day boundaries were established when Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (S.F.R.Y.). Despite legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s, which led to riots and calls for Kosovo's independence. The Serbs - many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland - instituted a new constitution in 1989 revoking Kosovo's autonomous status. Kosovo's Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum declaring Kosovo independent. Serbia undertook repressive measures against the Kosovar Albanians in the 1990s, provoking a Kosovar Albanian insurgency.
A landlocked country, Kosovo occupies the center of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. The country has a total area of 10,908 square kilometres (4,212 square miles) and is the 10th smallest country in Europe. It lies between latitudes 42° and 43° N, and longitudes 20° and 22° E. The country is encircled by Albania to the south and southwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the southeast, Montenegro to the west and Serbia to the north, northeast and east. Most of the country's borders are dominated by mountainous or high terrain. The most noticeable topographical features are the Bjeshkët e Nemuna and the Shar Mountains. The Bjeshkët e Nemuna, also known as Albanian Alps or Prokletije, are a geological continuation of the Dinaric Alps. The mountains run laterally through the west along the border with Albania and Montenegro. The southeast is predominantly dominated by the Shar Mountains, which forms the border with the Republic of Macedonia. Besides, the mountain ranges, Kosovos most territory is comprised mostly of two major plains including the Kosovo Plain in the east and the Metohija Plain in the west. Most of Kosovo experiences a continental climate with mediterranean and alpine influences. The climate is strongly influenced by its proximity to the Adriatic Sea in the west, the Aegean Sea in the south but also the European continental landmass in the north. The coldest areas of the country are the Mountains in the west and southeast, where alpine climate is found. The warmest areas of the country are especially at the extreme southern areas close to the border with Albania characterised by the mediterranean climate. Mean monthly temperature ranges between 0 °C (32 °F) (in January) and 40 °C (104 °F) (in July). Mean annual precipitation ranges from 600 to 1,300 mm (24 to 51 in) per year, and is well distributed year-round.
Kosovo's largest trading partners are Albania, Italy, Switzerland, China, Germany and Turkey. The Euro is the official currency of country. The Government of Kosovo have signed a free-trade agreements with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia. Kosovo is a Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) member, agreed with UNMIK, and enjoys a free trade within the non-European Union countries. The secondary sector accounted for 22.60 of GDP and a general workforce of 800.000 employees in 2009. There are several reasons for this stagnation, ranging from consecutive occupations, political turmoil and the War in Kosovo in 1999. The electricity sector is considered as one of the sectors with the greatest potential of development. Kosovo has large reserves of lead, zinc, silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and bauxite. The nation has the 5th largest lignite reserves in the World and the 3rd in Europe. The Directorate for Mines and Minerals and the World Bank estimated, that Kosovo had €13.5 billion worth of minerals. The primary sector is based on small to medium-sized family-owned dispersed units. 53% of the nation's area is agricultural land and 41% forest and forestry land, whereas 6% for others. The arable land is mostly used for corn, wheat, pastures, meadows and vineyards. It contributes almost to 35% of GDP including the forestry sector. Wine has historically been produced in Kosovo. The wine industry is successful and has been growing after Kosovo War. The main heartland of Kosovo's wine industry is in Orahovac, where millions of litres of wine are produced. The main cultivars include Pinot noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Kosovo exports wines to Germany and the United States. During the "glory days" of the wine industry, grapes were grown from the vineyard area of 9,000ha, divided into private and public ownership, and spread mainly throughout the south and west of Kosovo. The four state-owned wine production facilities were not as much "wineries" as they were "wine factories". Only the Rahovec facility that held approximately 36% of the total vineyard area had the capacity of around 50 million litres annually. The major share of the wine production was intended for exports. At its peak in 1989, the exports from the Rahovec facility amounted to 40 million litres and were mainly distributed to the German market. The natural values of Kosovo represent quality tourism resources. The description of Kosovo's potential in tourism is closely related to its geographic position. Its position in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe represents a crossroads which historically dates back to Illyrian and Roman times. With its central position in the Balkans, it serves as a link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. The mountainous south of Kosovo has great potential for winter tourism. Skiing takes place at the winter resort Brezovica in the Šar Mountains. It offers perfect weather and snow conditions for ski seasons from November to May.